Friday, July 12, 2019

This Week's Oz Short Story

My definition of "This Week" is going to be a little loose for the next little while, since I'm on my summer break, and I'm trying to get a little ahead so I can schedule an entry in this series to publish while I'm out of town at this year's OzCon International. But generally, "This Week" for me means on or around the weekend, so even though this is, technically, the second post in this series this week, this counts as the next week for me. Got it? Okay! The next story in the 2003 edition of Oziana is "Tik-Tok's Transformation" by Jimm Phillips, with illustrations by Luciano Vecchio. And, oh what a premise fro a story! Tik-Tok accidentally sits on Eureka, so she decides to have her revenge by spilling some Powder of Life on Tik-Tok! Sure enough, Tik-Tok becomes a flesh-and-blood human! Immediately, Eureka has regrets, of course, and decides to undo her mischief, but even the combined powers of Glinda and the Wizard can't find a way to reverse the Powder of Life. Eureka, however, realizes there is one way to reverse it: The Deadly Desert! Sure enough, Eureka takes Tik-Tok to the edge of Oz, where she pushes him into the desert, he is no longer alive, and becomes his old mechanical self again.

I really liked this story, and how everything about it can be found in the pages of the Oz books, and Phillips didn't have to make up anything new. My biggest complaint is that it's so short that we don't get to see much of Tik-Tok as a human, or delve into what's going through his head. And that could have made for a fascinating examination of identity, and how Tik-Tok deals with the transition. But the story focuses on Eureka's point of view, so we don't see much of Tik-Tok unless he's with her. Vecchio, however, delivers a terrific picture of the human Tik-Tok, loking about as you would expect him to.

Since this story was so short (and the next one so long), I will also use this entry to go over the additional little things from this issue:

  • The front cover, by Melody Grandy, celebrates the issue, with illustrations of several characters from the stories within.
  • Lee Theriot presents Oz Quest, a board game he had developed with the late Dick Martin.
  • The back cover, by Luciano Vecchio, shows Maria meeting Omby Amby in a scene from "The Bashful Baker of Oz."

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